Re: International Space Station crosses the Sun's disk?

From: Mark VandeWettering (
Date: Thu Sep 24 2009 - 23:18:59 UTC

  • Next message: Ralph McConahy: "Re: International Space Station crosses the Sun's disk?" wrote:
    > I thought I would post this interesting message  from the Astro-L list from 
    > someone who thinks he might have witnessed a transit  of the ISS across the 
    > face of the Sun.  Can anyone here on SeeSat confirm  that he might have 
    > made such a sighting?  Mike is located at Berkeley, CA  at 122 degrees 18 
    > minute west, 37.9 degrees north. -- joe  rao
    > Fellow Astros: 
    > I was out looking at the sun and the new  sunspots currently on the disc 
    > with my 3.5-inch Questar when I was astounded to  see what I think was the 
    > International Space Station crossing the surface. It  took me by surprise, to 
    > say the least, but I regained enough of my composure to  determin that what 
    > ever it was made it’s way across the sun in about two  seconds. It appeared 
    > about the size of a very large sunspot group, maybe an  arcminute and a half 
    > across. I did see what looked to be solar pannels,  photovoltic arrays, on 
    > either side of what seemed to be a cylindrical looking  body. 
    > The sighting occurred at 11:37 a.m. PDT, Sept. 23, 2009,  and with the help 
    > of my wife, I determined the approximate timing of the event  by checking 
    > her watch, the only time piece around, with WWV. 
    > Anyone know how I could fing out the fly-over time of the station? I would  
    > like to verify the sighting, or at least determine that it was not the 
    > station.  Thanks. 
    > Mike Gardner  
    > -------------------------------------------------------------------------
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    Just for fun, I dusted off my own satellite prediction code and tried to see
    if it was plausible.   I see passes starting on the 23rd starting at 01:17,
    02:53, 04:28, 06:04, 20:54 and 22:29, all times in UTC.  None of those
    provide a good match for the 7 hour difference that you need.
    Mind you, this is with the Python code that I wrote.  YMMV.
        Mark K6HX
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